New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to conduct in-person exams from July 5. During the hearing today, a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to prepare a brief note regarding RTPCR, SOPs for examination halls. Furthermore, it asked the institute to mention the circumstances in which the ‘opting-out’ scheme can be given.Also Read - ICAI CA Exams 2021: Over 6000 Students Write to PM Modi Seeking Postponement of CA Exams, Additional Attempt

Besides, postponement, the plea, filed by Child Right Activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, had sought the top court’s direction for an opt-out option, extra attempt and increased exam centres for the forthcoming session of ICAI CA examinations.

ICAI CA Exam 2021: What Transpired Inside The Supreme Court | Highlights

13:19 PM: Hearing ends. The top court posts petitions on CA exams for final disposal tomorrow.

13: 15 PM: The Supreme Court suggested ICAI to relax the condition of RT-PCR certificate and grant Opt-Out Option on last-minute centre change.

13:14 PM: Don’t waste your time to convince us why exams are necessary, SC to ICAI.

13:07 PM: The bench observed that ‘Opt-out’ has to be for a good reason. “Someone has to certify and ultimately institute will take a call on that. Otherwise it will be an unending process”, it observed. Apart from deferment of exams, the plea also sought the top court’s direction for an opt-out option, extra attempt and increased exam centres for the forthcoming session of ICAI CA examinations.

12:53 PM Justice Khanwilkar: This is one last chance in the old syllabus. preparation is a painstaking exercise.

Srinivasan: ICAI will release a notification so that these concerns are taken care of, an authority is appointed so that students can opt out

12:47 PM: Responding to the Bench, Srinivasan, appearing for ICAI said,”Your suggestion is completely welcome. Institute will keep this in mind and immediately issue a circular identifying an authority that can certify if a candidate is unable to appear.”

12:45 PM: COVID related problems need to be taken into account. There are various permutations and combinations, the Bench told ICAI.

12:44 PM: Sharing his own experience, Justice Khanwilkar said his after-effects lasted for after 3 weeks from recovery. Justice Maheshwari stated fatigue factor is horrible!

12:43 PM: Take inputs from experts, said the Bench, noting that the entire cycle of infection is 14 days max. “After suffering from COVID, people are getting effects for three months. Have you taken this into consideration?”, asked the top court.

12;39 PM: The three-judge bench asked the ICAI to adopt a general approach.If a certified copy from an official is given that he cannot appear for a genuine reason and can appear in the next exam. One possibility is I am infected or one possibility is that a family member is infected”, LIVE Law quoted the Bench as saying. 

12:38 PM: Hearing underway. Arora, appearing for the petitioners argued,”Centres will only be 4-5 in a State. Students will be all across the State. What about containment zones? What if they can’t travel ?”

12:37 PM: How do we address the large number of candidates? This being their only last opportunity, they have to provide. After this, it will be the new syllabus and they will have to redo the whole thing and undo their hard work, LIVE Law quoted Arora as saying.

12:34 PM: Let me submit the issues that will arise and then I will take you to the note.

12:33 PM: Referring to the ICAI note, Arora said,”We have gone through the note. I find the note does not cover any issues that we raised at all.”

12:31 PM: Hearing begins in the SC. Senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan appears for ICAI and senior Adv. Meenakshi Arora appears for one of the Petitioners.

12:09 AM: Currently, Item 39 is being heard. Hearing on the plea seeking postponement of CA exam will commence in a while. Stay tuned.

10:28 AM: SC to resume hearing shortly.

10:04 AM: Defending its decision to hold exams amid pandemic, ICAI said that out of 3,74,230, more than 2,82,000 candidates have downloaded their admit cards as of June 27, which showed that “eagerness to appear in the exams”. “It is understandable that some of the candidates would have inhibitions in appearing for the exams, but that cannot be allowed to jeopardize the aspirations of a majority of the candidates,” the ICAI said in its note submitted before the top court.

09:57 AM: Will CA exams be postponed due to COVID? Less than an hour left for the crucial hearing.

09:50 AM: Yesterday during the hearing, the counsel for ICAI had informed the bench that a note has been circulated expressing its stand on the separate petitions filed by Satya Narain Perumal, Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and third by a group of CA aspirants. Senior Advocate Ramji Srinivasan, representing ICAI, submitted that the body is aware of the urgency in the matter. “We will have it tomorrow then. Please email us the note,” said the bench.

08:58 AM: The hearing is expected to begin after 10:30 AM. A three-judge Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Aniruddha Bose will take up the matter.

08:12 AM: Students are hopeful that the top court will take a decision in their favour. “CA Exams now trending. I don’t think Institue can conduct the exam at the proposed time. Now we’ve only one week left for starting the exams. Hoping for good news soon”, a student tweeted. 

07:22 AM: Ahead of the hearing, petitioner, Anubha Sahai tweeted, “CA Students we are working on the note submitted by the ICAI in response to our PIL. Some students are sending very good points to counter. Our matter is listed tomorrow at sr no 43 before Hon’ble Justice Khanwilkar’s bench.

07:15 AM: “The Covid-19 spread is now at a substantially low level, therefore this is the opportune moment to offer the aspiring Chartered Accountants to further their professional careers. As on date, the number of Covid-19 cases are comparatively low and thus it would be in the best interests of the candidates if the examinations are held as per the schedule and not cancelled or postponed,” ICAI said in a brief note submitted before the top court.

07:00 AM: Earlier on Monday, the ICAI informed the Supreme Court that since there is a dip in the number of COVID-19 cases, it is in the best interest of students that Chartered Accountant (CA) exams are held as scheduled.